Dialog Box

The Pink Elephants Support Network

Letting Go

Letting Go after repeated miscarriage or IVF failure can encompass different meanings depending on where you are on your journey.

For some couples, the quest for a baby, or another baby, can be a very long, very challenging road. Emotionally, physically and financially taxing, there may come a time when you have to consider letting go of your dream.

Only you know how much you can tolerate and there is no rule that dictates how long you should keep trying. The dilemma is often likened to, ‘How long is a piece of string?’…meaning of course, that the answer will be different for everyone.

For those undergoing fertility treatments like IVF, the financial burden alone can be a very real obstacle and can force an end point on you. For others, the emotional toll can become too hard to bear. And for others still, the stress on your relationship can, in the worst cases, be insurmountable.

There are obviously differing lines in the sand for everyone as to where your end point is. In many cases, even your own individual line can shift several times, the further into the journey you go.

For example, I’m ready to let go – if I have to do IVF; I’ll stop if I can’t use my own eggs; I’ll stop if I can’t carry my own child, I’ll stop one I turn 40/41/42. We’ve also heard it said that you keep going until the pain of continuing outweighs the pain of stopping.

Whatever your reasons, the decision to move on is a huge and complex one. You’ve likely spent years dreaming about and trying to conceive a healthy baby, so deciding to stop will naturally leave a big hole in your mind, life and heart. You may find you need some counselling to work though these feelings, either alone or with your partner. You may need some help planning a new path, a new dream for your future. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to take time for you to grieve, to accept and to heal. So be kind to yourself and give yourself as long as it takes.

In time, you may wish to explore other options to help make the dream of a child in your family a reality. Depending on the reasons for your miscarriages or infertility and if you are financially able, donor eggs or surrogacy may be an option. Unfortunately in Australia, the opportunities for local adoption are rare and the process of overseas adoption can take over 5 years and cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is a huge shortage of foster carers in Australia so some people may find fostering an appropriate way to bring a child or children into their lives, and this may lead to adoption in some cases.

Be kind to yourself and give yourself as long as it takes.

You may also decide that letting go and living child free is the way forward. Whilst utterly heart-wrenching, years of disappointment can ultimately take its toll on you as an individual, and on you both as a couple. The strain infertility and pregnancy loss places on a relationship can be significant, and in some cases, for the sake of each other, you may decide it is best to let it go.

There is no easy answer and no one size fits all solution. As with everything about Pink Elephants, we want to present you with information and choices to help educate and empower you to choose what is going to work for you.


Moving on after Miscarriage

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a mum. When it came time to make that decision to start trying I had no idea what was before me. I thought it would be simple and my excitement, hope and belief in falling was never in doubt. Everyone else does it right? All my friends had no problems so why should I? How wrong I was...

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